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Alternative and appropriate technologies. Sources: compiled from Pepper (1996), O’Riordan (1981) and O’Riordan (1995). In the 1960s, environmentalism was largely a movement reflecting European and American, white, middle-class concerns. The undesirable effects of industrial and economic development were beginning to be seen via a number of ‘conspicuous pollution incidents’ (Bartelmus, 1994: 5) and people were worried about the effects on their own lifestyles and health: ‘after two centuries of industrialism and urbanisation, people now began to rediscover the idea that they were part of nature’ (McCormick, 1995: 56).

However, as the world’s population becomes more urbanised (as seen in Chapter 5), poverty is also becoming increasingly an urban phenomenon. The World Bank estimates that, by the turn of the century, half of the developing world’s absolute poor will be in urban areas (World Bank, 1990a). Cities, for historical reasons, have often been located on prime agricultural land or within valuable ecosystems near rivers, lakes or coasts. Currently, these areas remain valued sites, among other things for housing and tourism development.

In so doing, greater insight is gained into what sustainable development means in practice: the nature and extent of the challenges for action, for whom and where, for example. Inequalities in access to resources The influence of issues of population in shaping modern environmentalism was seen in Chapter 1. Currently, it is not doubted that in some countries the ability of governments to provide basic needs of shelter, food, water and employment for their populations becomes increasingly difficult with rising numbers.

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